Samstag, 31. August 2013

WineInspector Magazine August Edition is out

Enjoy great wines of Italy, France, Portugal and Georgia!

Sonntag, 25. August 2013

Big Five Challenge No. 1

In my last article I wrote about a wine, we all loved. After my friends made their way back home it did not take much time until the next visitors arrived. This time it was the family. It took ten hours with the car from France to Chemnitz. After a great week with several wines we decided to make a challenge with the best of the whole week. I think this is a model I will continue in the future.

The tasters:

- Christine: She likes wine, but is not as enthusiastic as the guys in the round.

- Audrey: She also likes to drink good wines, but is not very interested in talking about them. To enjoy them is enough.
- Jean-Pierre: A real wine lover with great experience and knowledge of French wines, experiencing also interesting bottles from other countries in recent years.
- Thomas: Founder and wine critic of WineInspector. Loves good wines from every region of the world.

The challenge:

How did we proceed? Everyone of us tasted each of the wines and rated it (Christine decided to create a ranking only; without giving any points). The average points decide on the final result.

The wines:

The following five wines made their way into our glasses. The tasting notes are edited versions of the first tasting notes we made (published in one of our magazines). 

So you have a mix of information (tasting notes of the magazine + the impressions of the evening). The awards are attached to show the potential of the wines, while the notes we gave at the tasting designate the form of the day. If one wine already got a higher rating in one of our magazine's than in the tasting he has still some potential and needs more time in the bottle or to breeze:

Campo al Mare Baia al Vento Bolgheri Superiore DOC 2009 (opened eight hours before the tasting):
This blend (90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot) matured for 16-18 months in French oak 500 litre barrels. Ruby coloured with flavours of thyme, sage, spices and plum. On the palate well-balanced with cherry, spices, plum and herbs. The plum dominated most of the time, the herbs came at the end. Medium to full bodied, soft tannins and an ordinary aftertaste. It was not as good as in March, when I tasted it for the March Edition.

Pago de Carraovejas El Anejón DO 2009 (opened one day before the tasting):
This blend has been made from 93% Tinto Fino, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Merlot. Like the Crianza it matured for 12 months in French oak barriques. It is deep dark red in colour and reveals a complex bouquet with wet wood, a hint of orange, cherry, graphite and sandal wood. On the palate it exhibits great depth, complexity and density: aromas of sandal wood, coffee, dark chocolate, graphite and plum, sustained by soft tannins. Full bodied, good extract and good length in the aftertaste. Still a bit reticent, but power and finesse already shine through. Was not as powerful as the last time, but had more finesse to offer. Needed more time to breeze actually.

Meroni Il Velluto Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC 2005 (opened 18 days before):
This blend (Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, Molinara) matured for 5 years in Slavonian oak barrels and is ruby in colour with brown reflexes. In the nose beguiling flavours of cherry, sandal wood, herbs and orange. On the palate black cherry, herbs and sandal wood, sustained by concealed tannins. Medium to full bodied, perfect-balanced and a long aftertaste. So much quality after almost three weeks and still needs time to breeze. Incredible.

Tenuta di Nozzole Il Pareto IGT 2009 (opened eight hours before the tasting):
This Cabernet Sauvignon (100%) matured for 16-18 months in French oak barrels and is ruby in colour with violet reflexes. In the nose terrific spice together with currant and jalapeno. On the palate well-balanced with jalapeno, mocha and caramel. Full bodied, well-integrated tannins and a good finish. Also needed more time, but showed its great potential at the far end of the tasting.

Casa Gran del Siurana Gran Cruor DOC 2007 (opened one week before the tasting):
This blend (90% Syrah, 10% Carinena) matured 18 months in new barrels of French oak and is dark violet in colour. In the nose black cherry, caramel, cassis, earth, truffles, mint and toast. On the palate dark fruits, black cherry and chocolate intermixed with earth, mint and truffles. Full bodied, nice extract, astringent tannins and a long finish. A monument in nose and mouth. One of my all time favourites with high density, complexity, finesse and intensity. 

The results:

All of the wines were really great. We enjoyed them all. Everyone of us had some personal preferences (I think the women payed more attention to intensity while the men prefered balance and finesse), leading to a very close result. If Christine would have given points, the whole ranking could be different. 
But now the results are final and the winner of the 1st "Big Five Challenge" is Pago the Carraovejas El Anejón 2009. Congratulations!

But to be honest: There were no winners and loosers in this tasting (concerning the wines). The tasters were the real winners, being able to taste five fantastic bottles. I can recommend them all. Furthermore this tasting did, what wine should be about: connecting people and making them think about what they consume. Even the individuals, who usually don't talk about wine, started to try to explain, why they like one example more than another.

If you want to do a Big Five Challenge too, but don't want to pay 40-60€ a bottle, simply make a "Litte Brothers Challenge". My recommendation (in the following lines I give you the magazine's tasting notes as an impression):

Campo al Mare Baia al Vento Bolgheri Superiore DOC 2009:
This blend (90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot) matured for 16-18 months in French oak 500 litre barrels. Ruby coloured with flavours of thyme, sage and plum. On the palate well-balanced with cherry and herbs. Medium to full bodied, soft tannins and a satisfying aftertaste. Good buy! Drink: 2015-2023.
Rating: 91 

Pago de Carraovejas Crianza DO 2010:
After this blend (95% Tinto Fino, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) has been matured for 12 months in barriques, it appears ruby in colour. In the nose still a bit passive. Firstly fresh and fruity with apple flavours, later orange, cherry and lemon grass. On the palate orange, plum, wild berries, lemon grass, mocha and dark chocolate. Full bodied, good tannins and a good finish. Best buy! Drink: 2016-2025.
Rating: 91-94

Meroni Il Velluto Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC 2007:
This blend (Corvina Veronese, Corvinone Rondinella, Molinara) is garnet red in colour with raspberry red reflexes. In the nose black cherry and raisin. On the palate cherry, a touch of herbs and raspberry, sustained by good acidity. Medium bodied, well-integrated tannins and a good finish. Drink: 2013-2021.
Rating: 87

Casa Gran del Siurana Cruor DOC 2007:
A blend of 30% Garnatxa, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Syrah and the rest Monastrell. Dark violet in colour. In the nose intense plum, red fruits, green pepper and slight toast. On the palate very expressive with plum, cherry and orange. Medium to full bodied, good tannins and a long finish. Hint: Very open and expressive these days. Drink: 2013-2018.
Rating: 88

I hope to can enjoy them as we did.....

Sonntag, 18. August 2013

The wine for everyone?

Whenever I have guests I let them try one or another wine. Several tries lead me to the conclusion, that people, who don't drink wine very often, prefer sweeter wines or to phrase it:

The more interest in (and consumption of) wine, the more interest in dryness - the less interest in (and consumption of) wine, the more interest in sweetness.

As a result I know, if someone likes a specific wine or not before I let him or her taste it. But sometimes I try to offer something different, simply to see the reactions. This week two old friends visited me. Two guys, who don't drink (high quality) wines normally. This time I served Barbeito's "10 Anos Malvasia Reserva". To my surprise they loved it. 

Indeed it is a sweet wine (total sugar: 100g/dm³), but the mouth feel is not as sweet as my friends usually like it and not so sweet that I don't like it: not too dry for them; not too sweet for me. The sweetness hits the intersection point between all of us, maybe making it a wine for everyone? 

Barbeito 10 Anos Malvasia Reserva Velha
This Malvasia has been made by the Canteiro method and matured 10 years in old 620-litre French oak casks. Old golden in colour. In the nose intense flavours of vegetables, almond, caramel and fir honey. On the palate good density, depth, intensity and finesse with caramel, almond, walnut and a kind of vanilla. Full bodied, well-balanced and a good finish. Best buy! Drink: 2013-2043.
Rating: 93 points.

Dieser Malvasia wurde nach der Canteiro Methode hergestellt und reifte 10 Jahre in 620 Liter Fässern aus französischer Eiche. Altgoldene Farbe. In der Nase intensive Düfte nach Pflanzen, Mandel, Karamell und Tannenhonig. Im Mund gute Dichte, Tiefe, Intensität und Finesse mit Karamell, Mandel, Walnuss und einer Art Vanille. Voller Körper, gute Balance und ein gutes Finale.

WineInspector-Wertung: 93**

Montag, 5. August 2013

Maybe the best wine from South Africa?

Luddite Shiraz 2007:
This Shiraz is ruby in colour. In the nose a very complex and slightly sweet bouquet with wet soil, moss and herbs intermixed with plum and dried fig. After a certain time banana, caramel and liquorice. On the palate it exhibits great depth, finesse and multifacetedness with polished aromas of caramel, cherry and plum, sustained by sweet, present, fine-grained and mouth watering tannins. Medium to full bodied, perfect balance and a long aftertaste. Good buy! Drink: 2015-2021.
Rating: 93 points.

Luddite Shiraz 2007:
Dieser Shiraz erscheint rubinrot im Glas. In der Nase ein sehr komplexes und leicht süßes Bouquet mit nasser Erde, Moos und Kräutern sowie Pflaume und Feige. Nach einer gewissen Zeit Banane, Karamell und Lakritze. Im Mund zeigt er großartige Tiefe, Finesse und Vielschichtigkeit mit geschliffenen Aromen von Karamell, Kirsche und Pflaume, gestützt von süßen, präsenten, feinkörnigen und den Mund wässrig machenden Tanninen. Mittlerer bis voller Körper, perfekte Balance und ein langes Finale.

WineInspector-Wertung: 93*

More interesting wines in our newest magazine!